Quality over quantity. That’s the goal of Vision Greens, a vertical farm in Welland’s industrial park near Highway 140, which has been growing lettuces, arugula, and basil since last May.
Products are shipped to grocers the same day they’re plucked — many stores being in the Greater Toronto Area, as well as some in Niagara, including Commisso’s and Lococo’s.
Vision Greens has exclusive Canadian rights to the technology it uses, developed at the University of Guelph through a partnership with a company from Norway that was commissioned by NASA to grow lettuce in space, said chief executive officer Lenny Louis.
A team of 15 full-time employees, which includes management, is able to “control the environment,” not having to worry about pests and climate. “We get to grow it to an optimal flavor, optimal nutrition,” Louis said.
The taste is what Vision Greens prides itself in, said Louis, who came on board as an early investor with founder Oliver Moraes but has since taken over a leadership role. “Sometimes you have the temptation to just go for volume, but we’ve chosen not to give in to that temptation,” said Louis, adding the idea came to life after multiple E. coli outbreaks affecting the produce industry in 2019.
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